I like to tell my karate kids on their awards ceremony, be proud inside, but be humble on the outside, for there is always someone better. When they lose in a karate game, I tell them it is always important to be a good loser for the same reason—there will always be someone better. Maybe not right now, but down the line an outstanding player will appear that will be better than you. You may be the gold medalist in the Olympics, but will you always be the best in the world? No, that is life.
A Lesson in Humility
As a recent recipient of the blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, I started feeling pretty sure of myself when able to tap out the white belts. Then along comes a higher-ranked purple belt, substantially smaller than me, who can tap me out at will. I needed it to remind myself there is always someone better, and also to remind myself that there is lots of work ahead. This can be discouraging if you let it, but it also motivates you to train harder.
The Mark of a True Champion–Humility
The most important lesson of humility is empathy. You need to wear a loser’s shoes so you know what it feels like to lose. It will make you a better winner. The purple belt told me I had a strong defence, but just needed to make a few adjustments. I felt much better. And unselfishly, he showed me how to shut down some of his attacks for next time. Now there is a true champion and a master instructor.
What have you learned about being humble in your life?